21 Jan Mashable
LAS VEGAS — One of the hardest parts about exercising is the getting-up factor — going to the gym, moving from the couch. But a tiny new gadget unveiled at the 2014 International CES trade show in Las Vegas on Sunday allows you to work out anywhere — a desk, an airplane seat and even while watching TV.
Called the Tao, the handheld device looks similar to a computer mouse and is close in size. Along with an accompanying app (iOS and Android), the Tao coaches you through 50 exercises related to isometrics — the science of applying pressure, which is the basis of many popular workouts such as pilates and plank exercising — and adds a gaming element.
“We want the vast majority of Americans who do not currently exercise to get some time in, and all your really need is about five minutes,”
“We want the vast majority of Americans who do not currently exercise to get some time in, and all your really need is about five minutes,” Philo Northrup, president and co-founder of Tao Wellness, told Mashable. “I used it while flying for 24 hours from Philadelphia to San Francisco during the recent snowstorms and was able to exercise on the plane — it saved my sanity and my lower back.
By holding the device portion (specifically called the Tao WellShell) in your hands and pushing hard, its internal pressure sensor works your muscles. It can also be used between your knees. While pressing hard on each side, the bluetooth-connected app walks you through the exercise, audibly telling you to push more or less and how long to hold the pressure — typically each rep is 20 seconds with six-second rest periods.
For example, to work out your abdominals, users push the Tao WellShell with both hands against the top of your thigh. The Tao app will then log the exercise and calories burned. It blends in a gaming factor, too — you can either follow an exercise graph or control a downhill skier to make the experience more fun. You can also compete against friends also using the Tao device.
Similar to fitness trackers on the market, the device can be set up to count steps and monitor sleeping habits. There’s also a built-in heart-rate monitor.
Although Tao hasn’t announced its price point, Northrup said it will likely cost between $200 – $300, with a planned launch in fall 2014.
“Tao is intended to be an addition to an already existing fitness ecosystem, but we may explore more therapeutic uses for those who are recovering from surgery or strokes,” Northrup said. “We don’t claim any medical or therapeutic benefits, but we are open to working with partners who might be able to expand its offerings.”
By Samantha Murphy KellyJan 05, 2014. VIA Mashable